Columbo: Season 3, Episode 6

Mind Over Mayhem (10 Feb. 1974)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Reviews: 15 user | 5 critic

The director of a government institute that employs various scientific geniuses commits a clever murder. But another kind of genius is on the case: Lt. Columbo.



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Title: Mind Over Mayhem (10 Feb 1974)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Marshall Cahill (as Jose Ferrer)
Dr. Howard Nicholson
Neil Cahill (as Robert Walker)
Steve Spelberg (as Lee H. Montgomery)
Margaret Nicholson
Lou Wagner ...
Arthur Batanides ...
Murph (as Art Batanides)
Darrell Zwerling ...
Motel Manager
Charles Macaulay ...
John Zaremba ...
William Bryant ...
Bert Holland ...
Ed Fury ...
Jefferson Kibbee ...


Dr. Marshall Cahill is the director of a government institute that employs various scientific geniuses, including the elderly Dr. Nicholson, who knows that Cahill's son Neil has plagiarized a dead man's theory of molecular structure. When Nicholson threatens exposure, Dr. Cahill murders him and cleverly makes the killing look like the job of a heroin junkie who needed his fix. But clever or not, another kind of genius is on the case: the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

10 February 1974 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Columbo makes reference to his "wife and kids", intimating a larger family than perhaps previously believed. See more »


In the "home garage laboratory", there is a shelf of chemical containers marked with their respective formulas. The formulas are written incorrectly. See more »


Lt. Columbo: So you had an hour to kill before you had to get back to the airport.
Neil Cahill: I take it you mean to use that phrase, "to kill." You mean that literally.
Lt. Columbo: No, I was just using a figure of speech. I'm not making an accusation.
See more »


References Forbidden Planet (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Confusing plot?
31 August 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I have just seen this for the first time in years and still love the unusual setting, the cheeky reference to 'boy genius' Stephen Spelberg and of course Robby The Robot.

But I cannot for the life of me fathom out why on earth someone as intelligent as the murderer Cahill (Jose Ferer) would give himself away by smoking a cigar just after killing the victim. An obvious giveaway and seemingly only included as a clue for Columbo to find.

And what was the point of the brandy glasses? Presumably Cahill was hoping to frame someone else but this point is never properly addressed. Anyone else have any theories?

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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